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Free Content Repräsentanz – ein geeignetes Bewertungskriterium für den Naturschutz?

Representativeness – An Appropriate Criterion for Evaluation in Nature Conservation?

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Representativeness is a prominent criterion in nature conservation evaluation. Despite its widespread use, the concept of representativeness is ambiguous. For a consistent application of this criterion, a conceptualisation is of vital importance. In this contribution I analyse different meanings of the term, assess its normative legitimacy, and make recommendations for its use in nature conservation. We can distinguish three different meanings of representativeness. First, it can be seen as a measure of the characteristic inventory of species and habitats in geographic regions (distinctiveness). Second, representativeness is the degree to which a habitat conforms to a habitat type or to which the presence of a species is correlated with a habitat type (typicalness). Third, representativeness can be seen as the extent to which required natural features occur within a habitat or a (set of) site(s) (comprehensiveness). While the use of distinctiveness is normatively well grounded, there are some problems in the use of typicalness and comprehensiveness as evaluation criteria. For each application, I recommend clarifying which approach to representativeness is being taken. Furthermore the value system behind the evaluation criteria should be made explicit.

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Keywords: CONSERVATION GOALS; CRITERIA; DISTINCTIVENESS; EVALUATION; NORMATIVE FOUNDATION; REPRESENTATIVENESS; SPECIES COMPREHENSIVENESS; TYPICALNESS

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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